An Overview of Sleep Apnea

February 13th, 2014 → 6:15 pm @

Sleep apnea is a disorder that disrupts your sleep by restricting airflow to your lungs and brain. This may happen to you several times throughout the night without your knowledge, because you return to sleep immediately after being awoken. This disorder prevents you from getting enough deep and restful sleep, resulting in chronic sleep deprivation. Here is an overview of the types of sleep apnea and the available dental treatments.

The three types of sleep apnea are obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, and it is most directly related to snoring. Snoring occurs because the muscles that keep your airway sufficiently wide are relaxed while you are asleep, so the tissue in your throat obstructs the air from passing through. This causes a vibration that creates the sound of snoring, but when the airways are too tight it causes you to awaken, which is known as sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea does not occur as often and is not related to snoring. With this type of sleep apnea, your brain is unable to utilize the correct muscles in order to breathe while you are asleep. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of these.

Dental Treatment
There are a few different things that your dentist can do for you if you have sleep apnea. The mandibular repositioning device and tongue retaining device are two dental treatments that can improve sleep apnea by repositioning your lower jaw or your tongue, respectively. Another option is surgery; since sleep apnea is caused by the inability of air to get through your throat, you can have your airway enlarged. Alternatively, you may have your jaw reconstructed or tissues removed from the back of your throat to facilitate the passage of air.

For more information about sleep apnea, call Sanford Dental Excellence. We can be reached at (407) 268-6409 or through our website. Dr. Stephen Seidler is among the most professional and qualified dentists in the Lake Mary and Sanford areas. We specialize in dental implants, bridges, cosmetic dentistry, and more. Call to make an appointment today!

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